Black Friday is almost upon us. However, while the 25 November is the biggest shopping bonanza of the year, it doesn’t have to be a fight to the death to get the last discount 4K TV. Follow this simple survival guide to make sure you get the best bargains and still retain your sanity.
1. Make a list, check it twice
Make a shopping list in adance. Know what you want and what the regular retail price is, so you know if you really are getting a good discount. Consider setting up an online wish list, as some sites may email you if items on your list go on sale.
2. Dress appropriately
Black Friday is a marathon, not a sprint, so be prepared to be out of the house all day and in all kinds of weather. Wear flat, comfortable shoes and layers that you can bundle up when queuing in the cold and strip off in the scrum of the shop floor.
3. Queue up early
While camping out all night long is too extreme for us, last year many shops, including Argos, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, opened at 6am, so you might want to get there a couple of hours early. If you’d rather have a lie-in, don’t fret. Many high-end retailers such as John Lewis and Harvey Nichol keeping regular trading hours. Many shops also release deals later in the day to entice shoppers back after the morning rush.
4. Know where to shop
Different shops offer different deals. For example, last year Apple shunned Black Friday, but Argos offered £100 off old iPhones, so think twice before queuing outside the Apple Store. Currys PC World offered the best deals on televisions, with up to £600 off selected flat screens. At Boots you could buy a Philips Diamond Clean toothbrush for £90, down from £250, and other luxury savings.
5. Subscribe to newsletters
Go into stores a couple of days before Black Friday and ask staff if they have any leaflets on what deals will be available, this will save you taking the trip in only to find nothing you like is on offer. If you want to be even lazier, follow stores on Facebook and join online newsletters as these will often announce Black Friday deals. In fact, subscribers often get first dibs on deals.
6. Team up
Shopping with a friend can make facing the hordes of bargain hunters more fun and gives you more eyes to find the items you want. There’s also no harm in striking up conversation with your fellow shoppers when you’re in line, they may just let slip any hot deals that they bagged.
7. Pay with plastic
This only applies to those who can pay off their credit card balance full and on time, but paying with plastic instead of with cash has a lot of advantages. In addition to racking up points with your bank, many credit cards offer better purchase protections and extended warranties than retailers.
8. Stay home instead
While Black Friday is best associated with shoulder-barging other shoppers out of the way, last year’s Black Friday was also the biggest day for online retail ever. This trend is expected to continue, with an emphasis on mobile, so download stores’ official apps and shop from your sofa instead.